BSLA Curriculum

The Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) major is well suited for students interested in urban development, land-use planning, conservation, and ecological design. The BSLA curriculum is a broad-based course of study that provides the skills necessary for professional practice in landscape architecture. The foundation of this unique program is a sequence of design studio courses, involving a one-on-one relationship between students and faculty. Students are also strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad during their junior year in places such as Denmark, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

The core Landscape Architecture undergraduate curriculum is centered on a sequence of design studio courses. Studio teaching involves students and faculty in a one-on-one relationship. This close interaction typifies the program. Each studio requires a different set of principles and theories and mastery of aspects of the media of landscape—landform, plants, water, engineering, and construction.

The subject matter in each studio builds on the subjects of previous studios. In addition to the required Landscape Architecture courses, students are expected to fulfill college requirements in biological, physical and social sciences, humanities, and written and oral expression.

 

BSLA Requirements

LA 1410 Grounding in Landscape Architecture I

Introduction to the representation and design of landscapes and to working in a studio setting. Uses freehand drawing, measured drawing, digital tools and model making to understand design principles of the landscape within a cultural and ecological paradigm. 4 credits

LA 1420 Grounding in Landscape Architecture II

This course applies fundamentals of landscape design to small-scale site-planning projects. Work in the studio introduces students to the design process, design principles, construction materials, and a wide array of graphic representation. Projects are selected at a variety of scales to expose students to a broad overview of landscape architecture. 4 credits

LA 2010 Medium of the Landscape I

Studio course emphasizing the design process and principles involved in organizing and giving form to outdoor space to create site-specific design. 5 credits

LA 2020 Medium of the Landscape II

Focuses on the role of materials and natural systems in design at multiple scales. Design strategies, theory and vocabulary in landscape architecture and allied disciplines are explored within the projects. 5 credits

LA 3010 Integrating Theory and Practice I

The studio focuses on peripheral, yet complex sites of coastal cities, where the urbanizing force has not been strong or continuous enough in order to completely occupy or transform the maritime and/or fluvial ecosystems. 5 credits

LA 3020 Integrating Theory and Practice II

The course focuses on the expression of design solutions that grow from and affirm an explicit sense of site and place. 5 credits

LA 4010 Urban Design Studio

Urban design methods, morphology, and strategies are introduced and design and planning concepts applied to city-scaled projects including community engagement. Students are engaged in contemporary urban design strategies and methodologies on real-life projects in a metropolitan area. 5 credits

LA 4020 Capstone Community Design Studio

Community and ecological infrastructure design studio. 5 credits

LA 4910 Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment I

Focuses on the identification, uses, and establishment of woody plants in urban and garden settings. By understanding the environmental limitations to plant growth, students are able to critically assess potential planting sites; select appropriate trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers for a given site; and learn about the principles and practices of site amelioration and plant establishment. Design followed by written specifications and graphic details are developed to implement these practices. 4 credits

LA 3160 Site Engineering

This course exposes students to the fundamentals of site engineering and its relationship to best environmental practices. Lectures and short vignettes are provided to students and “worked-through” within the class period. These projects deal with site grading, earthwork estimating; storm water management, site layout, and essential associated professional skills. 5 credits

LA 3180 Site Assembly

Emphasizes detail design and use of landscape materials in project implementation. It explores construction materials, including specifications, cost estimates, and methods used by landscape architects in project facilitation. It includes lectures, studio problems, and the development of drawings leading to construction documentation of one comprehensive project. 5 credits

LA 4100 Computer Applications in Landscape Architecture

Designed to develop a working knowledge of AutoCAD as a tool for design and construction documentation.  Explores the link between AutoCAD, Adobe Create Suite and Microsoft Office software. 3 credits

LA 4120 Professional Practice

This course presents the student with an understanding of the emerging role of the professional landscape architect. The course helps students choose a type of practice and introduces the problems and opportunities one may encounter in an office or in other professional situations. Topics include the diversity of types of professional practice, marketing professional services, office and project management, construction administration, and ethics. 2 credits

BSLA students are required to take a total of 6 credits to fulfill the Historical Studies requirement. Below is a list of recommended courses that fulfill this requirement:

  • LA 3170 Design and Environmental Systems
  • LA 3600 Pre-Industrial Cities and Towns in North America
  • LA 4070 Emerging Dimensions in Urban Ecology and Sustainable Practice
  • ARCH 3821 History of European Landscape Architecture
  • ARCH 3822 History of American Landscape Architecture
  • LA 5450 Parks and Fora of Ancient Rome
  • LA 6910 Design of Landscapes
LA 4030 The Concentration

The formal concentration in Landscape Architecture allows degree candidates in the department the opportunity to define an area of personal interest within this broad profession or to examine the landscape dimensions of an associated field. The concentration is an opportunity for students to formally establish their interests as part of the degree.

  • The concentration is defined by the student in consultation with their faculty advisor.
  • The requirements of the concentration are at least 10 credits for the BSLA beyond those required by the department for the degree. Students include the LA 4030 The Concentration class as part of the 10 credit requirement.

BSLA students must fulfill the CALS Distribution Requirements, in addition to the major requirements.

Students may explore elective courses across the university in other colleges, in addition to an expanding curriculum offered by the Department. Due to its unique position within the university, the Department of Landscape Architecture promotes interaction and collaboration with other academic fields, including horticulture, architecture, city and regional planning, fine arts, and the natural and social sciences.

  • Physical Education (PE) courses do not count towards the total credit hours. However, students are encouraged to explore these courses in addition to their core curriculum and electives.

Sample Sequence

Fall Semester:
  • LA 1410 Grounding in Landscape Architecture I
  • Biological sciences elective
  • Physical sciences elective
  • Social sciences or humanities elective
  • Written or oral expression elective

Total: 16 credits

Spring Semester:
  • LA 1420 Grounding in Landscape Architecture II
  • Biological sciences elective
  • Physical sciences elective
  • Social sciences or humanities elective
  • Written or oral expression elective

Total: 16 credits

Fall Semester:
  • LA 4910 Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design and Landscape Establishment I
  • LA 2010 Medium of the Landscape I
  • Biological sciences elective
  • Social sciences or humanities elective

Total: 15 credits

Spring Semester:
  • LA 2020 Medium of the Landscape II
  • Written or oral expression elective
  • Physical sciences elective

Total: 15 credits

Fall Semester:
  • LA 3010 Integrating Theory and Practice I
  • LA 3160 Site Engineering
  • Historical studies elective
  • Free elective

Total: 16 credits

Spring Semester:
  • LA 3020 Integrating Theory and Practice II
  • LA 3180 Site Assembly
  • LA 4120 Professional Practice
  • Historical studies elective

Total: 15 credits

Fall Semester:
  • LA 4010 Urban Design Studio
  • Concentration elective
  • Social sciences or humanities elective
  • Free elective

Total: 13 credits

Spring Semester:
  • LA 4020 Capstone Community Design Studio
  • LA 4030 The Concentration
  • Concentration electives (2)
  • Free elective

Total: 14 credits